Civil and Environmental Engineering - Book chapters

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    Identifying energy poor households in the Global North
    (Routledge, 2023-12) Dunphy, Niall P.; Lennon, Breffní; Velasco-Herrejón, Paola; Velasco-Herrejón, Paola; Lennon, Breffní; Dunphy, Niall P.; Horizon 2020
    This chapter discusses findings from an ongoing Horizon 2020 project, EnergyMeasures, relating to identifying and recruiting energy-poor households in seven participating countries (BE, BG, IE, MK, NL, PL, and UK). Understanding the wicked problem of energy poverty is not an easy undertaking and is replete with multiple layers of complexity across numerous intersecting societal and environmental scales. Practitioners tasked with engaging energy-poor households acknowledge the difficulties involved, especially when trying to connect with those hard-to-reach households who may or may not identify as energy poor. While this chapter draws from experiences in Europe, the range and depth of practical knowledges held by the consortium partners allowed us to uncover a range of nuanced and considered approaches one can take on the topic that reflect the historical, cultural, and environmental factors specific to each country. Consequently, we critique these approaches to identifying and measuring energy vulnerability, especially indicators of energy poverty and so-called supporting indicators. As is noted throughout this book, the focus on energy poverty analysis has tended to stay at the macro-, or meso-, levels while understanding contexts at the local level often remain underdeveloped or ignored. In keeping with the overall theme of the book, approaches on how to appropriately identify energy-poor households are drawn from both the literature and experiences of practitioners active ‘in the field’.
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    Towards a better understanding of energy poverty
    (Routledge, 2023-12-01) Dunphy, Niall P.; Lennon, Breffní; Velasco-Herrejón, Paola; Horizon 2020
    Energy poverty can manifest itself in households unable, for reasons of access and/or affordability, to source clean energy for necessities such as heat, light, cooling, cooking, and appliance use, or having to use an excessive portion of their disposable income to provide these essentials. Developing more effective responses to this social challenge necessitates a deeper appreciation of energy poverty and the different ways in which it manifests. While there has been some arguing for the importance of appreciating the lived experience of the energy poor, much of the literature on energy poverty has tended to be quantitative in nature. Work within the EnergyMeasures project identified a gap between the macro- and meso-level analysis of energy poverty and the identification of individual energy poor households. Energy poverty is fundamentally a human condition. The various definitions of energy poverty speak of people being unable to access or afford sufficient energy to meet their basic service needs.
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    The global face of energy poverty
    (Routledge, 2023-12-01) Velasco-Herrejón, Paola; Lennon, Breffní; Dunphy, Niall P.; Horizon 2020
    For the first time in decades, the price pressures and economic upheaval primarily caused by the global energy crisis – sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and post-COVID pandemic supply chain stress – have led to a rise in the number of people without access to energy. The human consequences of energy poverty include a significant deterioration in physical health and mental well-being, along with premature death due to severe winter and summer conditions, unhealthy and/or restricted lifestyles, and social exclusion. There have been efforts to reduce energy poverty in both developing and developed countries over the past few decades. The need for electricity grid expansion has long been articulated in developing and developed contexts since the first half of the 20th century. More recently, global energy markets and their effects on energy availability and prices, as well as pressing environmental concerns, have induced a surge in research on energy deprivation, a condition that previously had little public recognition.
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    Whose transition? A review of citizen participation in the energy system
    (Routledge, 2022-12) Dunphy, Niall P.; Lennon, Breffní; Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
    Writing in the late 1980s, Jon Fiske describes reality as “always encoded [and most especially] by the codes of our culture”. The energy transition is one of the latest sets of realities that comes with its own encoded messaging and nomenclatures. Citizens are increasingly expected to actively participate in the energy domain and play their part in transitioning to low-carbon energy systems. Terms like “energy citizen” have been used to describe (the accepted forms of) this participation, typically in quite prescriptive and rather limited roles, such as active consumer and prosumer. However, as with other manifestations of citizen-consumer ideals, where the framing is presented as the embodiment of freedom, the vagueness of such terms lock citizens out of what could potentially be a transformative conceptualization for transitioning to more equitable and empowering energy experiences. This chapter will examine how under-theorized and contested concepts like the “energy citizen” are already framing our collective experience(s) of the energy transition and asks for whom is the emerging energy system designed?
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    Gap analysis of research, technology, & development activities
    (REEB-consortium, 2010-05) Hryshchenko, Andriy; Menzel, Karsten; REEB consortium; Hannus, Matti; Kazi, Abdul Samad; Zarli, Alain; FP7 Information and Communication Technologies
    Most energy usage of buildings throughout their life cycle is during the operational stage (~80%). The decisions made in the conception and design stages of new buildings, as well as in renovation stages of existing buildings, influence about 80% of the total life cycle energy consumption. The impact of user behaviour and real-time control is in the range of 20%. ICT has been identified as one possible means to design, optimize, regulate and control energy use within existing and future (smart) buildings. This books presents a collection of best practices, gap analysis of current research and technology development activities, a research roadmap, and a series of recommendations for ICT supported energy efficiency in buildings. Key research, technology, and development priorities include: integrated design and production management; intelligent and integrated control; user awareness and decision support; energy management and trading; integration Technologies. The vision for ICT supported energy efficiency of buildings in the short, medium, and long term is advocated as follows: Short term: Buildings meet the energy efficiency requirements of regulations and users; Medium term: The energy performance of buildings is optimised considering the whole life cycle; Long term: New business models are driven by energy efficient “prosumer” buildings at district level – long term.